Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Rocks: Sugar Cube Rock Cycle

Originally posted on March 9, 2010

Have your students complete the rock cycle, using sugar cubes.

You'll need:
--Sugar cubes,
--Squares of aluminum foil, folded into a "boat"
--Hammer (or other smashing device)
--Candles (birthday or Hanukkah)
--Lumps of clay
--Test tube holder

Each student begins with a sugar cube, which reprsents the original sedimentary rock. Then...
--Weathering: Crush the rock with a hammer (or heavy book)
--Erosion: Move the crushed rock into the foil boat
--Heat/Melting: Using the test tube clamp, hold the foil boat over the candle flame until it melts. (Use a lump of clay as a candle holder).
--Cooling: Set the melted sugar aside for several minutes.
--Weathering: Break the new, igneous rock into pieces.

Warning: Melting sugar smells! Forewarn your neighbors and administrators before your classes get to work, so as to avoid unnecessary calls to the fire department!

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